The Purdue Arboretum was established in 2008 with the goal to recreate the Purdue campus as a living laboratory to enhance learning, discovery, and to improve its value as a resource for university engagement.
Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus boasts over 8,000 trees in over 300 different varieties. The university has been designated a “Tree Campus USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation consistently for the past five years, and the Purdue Arboretum was recently awarded a Level II Accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and the Morton Arboretum.
As a landscape arboretum, the Purdue Arboretum has a primary mission to collect and display the best woody plant species and cultivars for use in managed landscapes of Indiana and the greater Midwestern U.S. Plants typical of Indiana and surrounding regions receive special emphasis. Open accessibility to the Arboretum resources, including thoroughly labeled specimens and catalogued information, is a major goal. Collections of exotic plants are also developed with an aim to expand teaching, research and outreach activities and future opportunities.
The success of the Purdue Arboretum depends on the continued involvement of faculty, staff, and students across Purdue, as well as individuals, community groups, and private organizations both locally and beyond.
Tree Campus Trails
The Arboretum has organized several Campus Trails to showcase the diversity of trees on campus. The Blue Trail starts at the Visitor Information Center at Purdue Memorial Union and takes you around the north part of campus. The Gold Trail starts at the Visitor Information Center and guides you through the center of campus. The Green Trail starts at the Grounds Services Building, just west of Lilly Hall, and leads through the south campus area.
Download the Trees of Purdue brochure
Scan, Link, and Learn
The Purdue Arboretum's newest initiative, called Scan, Link, and Learn involves an extensive, interactive mobile-learning platform and database. Building this resource has consisted of, in part, the geo-location of all woody plants and landscape features and the successive labeling of these plants and features. Users may scan QR codes on the plant and landscape feature labels, link to that plant's page on the website, and learn by using the wide expanse of information available on the website and database for all aspects of the arboretum.
Some of the items that are included in this database are native tree and grass plantings around campus, green roofs at particular locations, bioswales and stormwater infiltration beds, rain gardens, and pervious pavements.
Tree Preservation Policy
Purdue University's Tree Evaluation, Preservation and Mitigation Policy was created in 2002 and emphasizes “no net loss,” or the explicit instruction to prevent construction/renovation activities from reducing open forests on campus. In addition to specific projects, Purdue actively plants 150 trees on campus every year, to replace and add to the urban forest.